Two bottles of Swash® Laundry Detergent

What Is HE Detergent?

HE (high-efficiency) laundry detergents are specialized formulas made to use in HE washing machines. The main difference between a HE detergent and a regular one is the amount of suds. HE detergents produce less suds and are designed for the lower water environments of HE machines.

How can you tell if you have an HE washer? Does HE detergent actually work? Can you use non-HE detergent in HE machines? Read on to find out.

Open detergent dispenser on a Whirlpool® Washing Machine Open detergent dispenser on a Whirlpool® Washing Machine

Do You Have a HE Washer that Needs High-Efficiency Detergent?

Since you only need a HE detergent if you have a HE washer, the first step is to check your machine. If it’s a front-loader or a top-loader without an agitator in the middle of the drum, it’s an HE washer by design. If you aren’t sure what type of washer you have, look for the HE high-efficiency logo. It’s usually found inside the washer near where you pour detergent. It might also be found under the lid, or in your washer’s manual.

HE washing machines use less water than standard washers – about 30 percent less. According to Energy Star, a non-HE washer uses an average of 20 gallons of water per load, while HE-certified machines use 14 gallons per load – or less. HE washing machines require a different type of detergent that can get the job done with less water.

 Whirlpool® Washing Machine filling up with water  Whirlpool® Washing Machine filling up with water

What does HE mean on laundry detergent?

If you’re shopping for an HE detergent for your high-efficiency washer, look for the blue and white oval with the letters “h” and “e” surrounded by a white swirl on the label. It should be the same symbol you saw on your washer.

The HE symbol might be located on the front of the bottle, or on the reverse, near the washing instructions and ingredients. When you see HE on a laundry detergent bottle, you’ll know that this detergent is designed for HE washing machines.

Since you need less detergent and less water, you may be wondering, “do HE detergents work?” After all, if there are fewer suds, how do you know if your clothes are getting clean? Good news. More suds does not mean more cleaning. The suds hold soil in suspension so it is not redeposited onto clean clothes.

HE laundry detergents are formulated for HE washers that use less water and tumble clothes rather than using an agitator. HE detergents disperse quickly in the lower-water environment and use less suds to remove dirt and oils from laundry. When you have an HE washing machine, you need an HE detergent.

A person adding liquid detergent to a washing machine A person adding liquid detergent to a washing machine

HE Detergent vs Regular Detergent: Which Should I Use?

There are various types of laundry detergent for the various types of washers, kind of like there are different types of fuel for different types of engines. Just as you wouldn’t put gasoline in a diesel car or truck, you should only use HE detergent in a HE washer.

Using a regular detergent in a HE washer will produce too many suds in low water levels and may lead to a longer cycle time and less effective cleaning. HE machines often use sensors to determine the correct water levels, and extra suds from non-HE detergent will cause the machine to run additional rinse cycles. No one wants their laundry to take even longer or use more water, so an HE detergent is better for your washing machine and your laundry routine.

The continuous use of regular detergent in an HE machine can also result in a component malfunction and, over time, buildup of mold or mildew.

You’re probably wondering, “can you use HE detergent in a regular, non-HE washing machine?” The answer to that is, yes! While you should not use regular detergent in a HE washer for the reasons stated above, it is fine to use HE detergent in a conventional washing machine. You should increase the amount you use since more water in the washer cycle will dilute the detergent further. And remember, don’t expect as many suds! HE laundry detergents are low-sudsing by design.

Swash® Laundry Detergent Smells Like Nothing on pedestal with scent cues Swash® Laundry Detergent Smells Like Nothing on pedestal with scent cues

HE detergent vs Ultra-Concentrated Laundry Detergent

While almost all detergents today are HE, only some have the added feature of being ultra-concentrated. Detergents with the HE symbol on the bottle are formulated for the low-sudsing, low-water environment of an HE machine. Ultra-concentrated laundry detergents can be used in regular, non-HE washing machines and in HE washers if they are also HE detergents.

Swash® Liquid Laundry Detergent is both HE and ultra-concentrated - it’s an 8x detergent. What sets ultra-concentrated detergents apart is that they use less water in their formulation. Large bottles of laundry detergent are diluted with water, while concentrated laundry detergents contain less water and are less diluted. As a result, you don’t need to use as much detergent in every load to get the same cleaning performance.

Since ultra-concentrated detergents will be combined with water inside your washing machine, they don’t need to dilute the detergent inside the bottle. By reducing the water and concentrating the detergent, you can have a smaller bottle that is easier to ship, pour, and store, taking up less room in your laundry area.

Two bottles of Swash® Laundry Detergent surround by scent cues. Two bottles of Swash® Laundry Detergent surround by scent cues.

Can I Use Swash® Laundry Detergent in an HE Washer?

Swash® Laundry Detergent is both ultra-concentrated and formulated for HE machines, so yes, you can use it in your front-load or top-load HE washer. Bonus: Swash® Laundry Detergent works in both HE and non-HE washing machines, so no matter what type of washer you have, you can get the benefits of the smaller bottle and efficient detergent.

Plus, with the Precision Pour Cap, you get the amount of detergent you need for clean clothes. No more guesswork, no worries of overdoing it, no math, no problem.

Choosing HE or Concentrated Laundry Detergent

If you have an HE washer, look for the “he” logo on the laundry detergent label to ensure you have the low-sudsing formula designed for your machine. For an easy solution for your laundry routine no matter which kind of washing machine, use an ultra-concentrated laundry detergent. Choose an ultra-concentrated HE laundry detergent such as Swash® detergent for use in your HE washer.

Swash® Laundry Detergent helps eliminate detergent waste with the Precision Pour Cap that automatically dispenses the amount of detergent you need for each load. Less mess, no guess. That’s the Swash® difference.

Read More: How Much Laundry Detergent Should I Use in My Washer?

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